A decade ago, if you mentioned identity theft to someone, you would have probably elicited a blank stare. Fast-forward to today and you’ll find it the subject of many news reports and even Hollywood action flicks. Identity theft is so prevalent that it is costing businesses worldwide an estimated $221 billion each year. It’s also one of the the fastest growing white-collar crimes in the United States, with more than 12 million people affected every year.
For most people who’ve never been victimized, ID theft sounds like an unfortunate incident that happens to some random person. However, individuals are no longer exclusive targets of ID thieves. Like consumers, your business also has an identity that can be stolen.
In the case of a business identity theft, a criminal will steal your company’s identity and falsely represent your business to acquire credit using your company’s name.
Once they successfully establish these lines of credit, the criminals will go on a spending spree buying electronics, office equipment, gift cards and many other items that can be quickly resold for cash. The more insidious fraudsters will misrepresent your business to steal private customer information, or in some instances, defraud your customers or commit tax fraud.
With more than 30 million cases reported in the last five years alone, it’s clear that identity theft will continue to be a problem as more of your information go into the cloud, increasing your risks.
Beyond the obvious repercussions like lost revenue and financial liabilities, there are plenty of hidden losses your business may have to incur if you fall victim to identity theft, including:
- Lost time
- Diminished productivity
- Damaged brand
Hiring more people and throwing money at it can probably remedy the first two, but the last one is particularly disastrous to most businesses that operate on trust and reputation. Let’s say you do defense work or specialized manufacturing for governments or highly secretive corporations. An identity theft involving a key employee has the potential to shut down your business. It's all the more dire when happens to your company, since your security clearances and accreditations that you painstakingly acquired could easily be revoked.
Would your business be able to recover from such losses? Many would not. Protect your business from identity thieves today with these business security tips.
For your physical security needs, ask our staff about secure ID solutions and visitor management tools at 1-800-667-1772. Calls are toll-free. You can also get in touch using our contact form.
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